Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Enn Eesmaa said that the Committee had taken into account the initiative of the Asian Centre at the University of Tartu to create a strategy for realising the long-term plans of Estonia concerning the developments, opportunities and challenges in Asia. “Estonia’s targets in connection with Asia have been a topic of discussion in our Committee for a long time. In 2012, the report “The Opportunities and Interests of Estonia in Asia until 2025” was prepared on the basis of hearings in the Foreign Affairs Committee. In eight years, very many changes have taken place in the region, and it is time to map new directions and challenges,” Eesmaa explained.
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee added that the Committee intended to continue with the issue during the autumn session, when parliamentary hearings on topics relating to Asia are planned to be held.
Deputy Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee Marko Mihkelson recalled the Estonian Foreign Policy Development Plan 2030, which had recently been discussed in the Riigikogu, and where the need for preparing comprehensive strategies for regions of strategic importance was underlined. “A more specific action plan in regard to Asia could be one of such strategies. It is certainly necessary to keep in mind that the strategy has to be applicable, should set specific objectives and create a context that could serve as a basis for establishing bilateral relations with states,” Mihkelson said.
In the opinion of the representatives of the University of Tartu Asian Centre, Estonia currently lacks a cross-sectoral and long-term Asian strategy that could be used by different interest groups as a basis for planning their activities. They believe that a new strategy that is created for the state and the public of Estonia could establish new guidelines, considering the need to protect the security of Estonia.